Italian politician who opposed making chickenpox vaccinations mandatory gets chickenpox

An Italian politician known for his vocal opposition to a new law mandating that school-aged children be immunized against several diseases, including chickenpox, has come down with the chickenpox.

Massimiliano Fedriga, a member of the far-right League party, was placed under observation for four days last week after contracting the disease, according to local news outlets.

{mosads}Fedriga was a chief detractor of the so-called Lorenzin law, which mandates that school-aged children be immunized against chickenpox, measles, polio and more. Parents who do not comply can be fined up to $560 for sending their unvaccinated children to school, and kindergartens and preschools have the option of turning away children under 6 years old who haven’t received the necessary immunizations. 

The Italian politician claimed in a Facebook post that he does not oppose vaccinations and has vaccinated his children. 

“I have always said that I am in favor of vaccines, but to achieve the result it is necessary to have an alliance with families, not imposition,” he said.

Roberto Burioni, a renowned Italian microbiologist, said on social media that he hopes Fedriga’s illness will alert other skeptical parents of the advantages of vaccines.

“If he had infected a pregnant woman we would be facing a malformed child or an abortion,” Burioni wrote on Facebook. “The only way we have to avoid such tragedies … is to inoculate everyone to prevent the circulation of this dangerous virus, which could have hit a more vulnerable person.”

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